When making the change from working with employees and team members to working with freelancers there are a few best practices that will make the whole process run smoothly. If you haven’t worked with a freelancer before, the article “Top 5 reasons to hire a freelancer” will give you some insight to the benefits.
To make the most out of the experience there are some things that you, as the client, can do to improve workflow. Starting with before you even create the job posting or project. First thing is to do is make a list of relevant information. This list may include:
- Draft due date
- Final due date
- List of key decision makers or those whose approvals will be required
- List of resources that will or should be referenced by the freelancer
- Templates or files the freelancer may require
This will help you be able to articulate the objectives and deliverables to the freelancer. By having the required background information organized and accessible prior to the start of the project things will get under way much more quickly.
Once you have sent the freelancer all the information and they have had a chance to review the materials, scheduling a call or live chat to clarify any questions or information establishes the lines of communication and can set the tone for the project and any future ones.
Establish if any progress reports or check-points are necessary. Especially for larger projects. It can be frustrating on both sides for a lot of time and effort to be invested in something that was missing the mark when it could have been identified and course corrected earlier in the process.
Determine payment terms up-front. Will credit cards be accepted? Paypal? E-transfer? How and when will invoices be issued? What are the cancellation terms if the project is terminated before it is completed? Is a deposit required? How many revisions are included? What is out of scope? Having all of these things addressed in writing from the start will give peace of mind to both sides.
Once the project is underway there are two things that can really impact the success of a project. Both of which you can control. The first is the approval process. If there are several decision makers make sure you keep them in the loop of any updates. They also may have new information that needs to be communicated to the freelancer while the project is underway. Stay on top of this and make sure all sides are up to date.
Second, be efficient in your responses. Your freelancer works hard to ensure their client are happy, including you! They want to meet your predetermined schedule. If they are unable to get responses in a timely manner, you may find your project is dragging on. Even if the project needs to be simply put on hold for a few days as you are waiting for something else – let your freelancer know. They will appreciate the update and can co-ordinate their schedule to keep things moving accordingly.
Freelancers can be a great addition to the team. As you get more comfortable working with them, you will start looking for other things you can outsource giving you more time and freedom to focus on your strengths. For a list of things you can outsource click here.